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The SDG for energy should deliver multiple benefits, new briefing argues

A sustainable development goal (SDG) for energy should provide an ambitious, long term vision beyond 2030, according to a new policy brief produced by IRF2015 partner, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES).

Cover image shows a road, sunlight, people and renewable power

A goal on energy was one of the 17 goals proposed by the Open Working Group (OWG) and endorsed by the UN Secretary General’s synthesis report, The Road to Dignity by 2030 launched last week – and energy is clearly a central issue to the future of sustainable development.

The briefing suggests that the Sustainable Development Goal for energy will act as a point of reference for countries that will need to devise their own targets and action plans, tailored to national circumstances. But the ambition set within the SDG should prompt countries to take on four key challenges: energy access, energy efficiency, increased share of renewable energy and a reduction in energy consumption.

This should be supported by enabling targets within the goal, promoting successful energy polices such as the feed in tariff (FIT) and action to curb fossil fuel subsidies. The goal should also identify ways of mobilising investment in renewable energy and transform the energy sector.

Limiting the global temperature rise (since the pre-industrial era) to 2 degrees Celsius will require rapid boosts in renewable energy share and energy efficiency, as well as reduced energy consumption – especially in wealthy countries. Targets reflecting the need for lifestyle changes to curb wasteful consumption should be included in national follow-up processes.

The full briefing is available online here.